Thursday, September 29, 2005

Excuses, excuses ... they just don't cut it

There are no excuses. Either a picture is interesting or it isn't, and it does not matter what the photographer had to endure to get it, what skills they've got, how many hours they had to wait, how cold they got, why something happened or didn't happen - it's all irrelevant. The only thing that counts is the final image.

Many of us have been there. We go to great pains to get an image and the final result is OK, but just not a hundred percent. The image goes into the portfolio and we keep it there because we know just how hard it was to get it. All the time it should actually have been binned. Just not good enough.

You've got to be ruthlessly honest, your own hardest critic and then you've got to go out and find tough experienced photographers, curators and picture editors, and subject yourself to their harshest critques. Not all of them will be right but you'll soon learn which are your weaker images.

Cut them out of your portfolio. No excuses.

You've also got to look beyond the merely technical. When I started I rejected many images in an almost mechanical way because they did not live up to technical dogmatic requirements. Yet they had something special, something that touched people. I've retrieved them from the bin of obscurity and they're now back in my portfolios.

So you've got to really look at every aspect of an image, but never consider the effort it took to get it.

Paul Indigo
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